In my first post in this series, I suggested that customer-facing workforces at banks and insurers can become much more perceptive regarding the emotions of their customers and radically improve their interactions with them. To get started boosting EQ through technology, companies should take an approach that secures employee buy-in and overcomes their concerns around privacy. 

For employees to accept using sensors and wearables to monitor their every move, they must understand how it benefits them. They need to realize that they will have to give up data on themselves in exchange for far more satisfying and productive work experiences. Organizations need to be able to articulate how using cognitive computing in the workplace will improve the social and emotional experience of employees, as well as improve the bottom line.

As a proliferation of sensors enters the workplace, they bring with them concerns about privacy and data rules. Collecting highly personal data on employees regarding their emotions and social behaviors is a significant concern. Seventy-six percent of employees in a recent Accenture Strategy survey said they were concerned that employers will use technology to track their every move.

The monitored workplace is already evident in areas such financial services call centers, and is spreading rapidly. Explicit, opt-in, informed consent is an important way to approach privacy issues. So is analyzing data at the aggregate level, rather than the individual level. Companies also need to ensure that the data they collect is protected with the same rigor as their customer data.

Some resistance to this level of change is inevitable, which is why financial services organizations will be best served if they begin with the least intrusive technologies first. Starting with auto-analytics—or the ability for employees to collect data on themselves to improve their awareness—will help employees understand the benefits of using wearable tech in the workplace.

Workers need to become accustomed to a culture in which they increasingly partner with machines to improve their performance and learn new skills. As financial service organizations start to develop a strong analytics capability and learn what to do with all the data collected by smart sensors, they can move to the next level: using more sophisticated analytics capabilities to predict the social and emotional impact on performance at work.

To find out more, read: How technology will unlock the emotional intelligence of the workforce of the future

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